NEWARK, N.J. — Panasonic continued to expand its range of 4K video cameras by announcing last week its first FZ-series bridge-style point-andshoot to include the Ultra HD highresolution capability.
The Lumix DMC-FZ1000 ($899 anticipated street price) will be Panasonic’s new flagship bridge camera model, stepping up from the FZ200.
The company sees the bridge camera segment appealing to photographers looking for more features than entry point-and-shoot cameras, but without the need to go into multiple lenses to achieve a wide range of zoom levels.
The FZ1000’s onboard Leica lens features a 16x zoom range (25-400mm equivalent) with an aperture range of f2.8-4.0. The lens is comprised of five aspherical lenses optimized to suppress distortion and produce a soft and smooth bokeh effect, the company said.
The camera adds a number of advances over that previous model, including the use of a 1-inch 20.1-megapixel high-sensitivity MOS sensor, improved, faster low-light autofocus system, up to 12 fps burst shooting, use of a 2.3 million-dot OLED electronic viewfinder (EVF) with what the company called virtually imperceptible lag, and a 3-inch 921,000-dot LCD monitor.
The FZ1000 uses the same OLED EVF panel used in the GH4 interchangeable-lens camera (ILC), offering less than 0.01-second lag from live action. In contrast, the FZ200 has a 0.033-second EVF lag time.
The addition of the Lumix FZ1000 brings Panasonic’s current 4K video camera offerings to three, including the previously announced GH4 Micro Four Thirds mirrorless ILC and the HX-A500 4K wearable action video camera.
When it hits store shelves in mid-July, the FZ1000 will record 4K video at up to a 30 fps rate using H.264 video compression. A company spokesman explained that the more efficient H.265 standard had not been established as the camera was being designed.
To further enhance the high-resolution video capability, the camera offers an improved hybrid optical image stabilization feature and a faster autofocus system.
The FZ1000 will record FullHD video at up to 120 fps for high-quality slow-motion playback at 30 fps.
Like the GH4 4K mirrorless ILC, the FZ1000 features a depth from defocus (DFD) autofocus system that minimizes unnecessary focus hunting for three times faster focus adjustment than the FZ200.
A company spokesman explained that the camera has been programmed with lens’ bokeh profiles so that it knows immediately which way the focus lens should move, without the limitations of other contrast autofocus systems that have to hunt through a mountain of contrast amounts. The system will also operate in low-light conditions down to starlight level.
When autofocus isn’t enough, a manual focus assist feature presents a window that magnifies the area of the image being focused on.
The camera will also automatically sense when it is held up to the user’s eye and switch into viewfinder mode.
The FZ1000 also includes built-in GPS functionality and built-in Wi-Fi connectivity to share images with connected mobile devices, and to remotely monitor live recordings on the secondary devices’ screens.
Another feature allows for in-camera RAW to JPEG image file conversion, without having to use a PC.
The camera design has been upgraded from the FZ200 to look similar to a GH4 ILC, placing the mode dial on right and burst/single shooting/time lapse dial on the right, while keeping a compact form factor, with a plastic body weight of just 1.83 pounds with a lithium-ion battery.